Thursday, April 9, 2009

Looking at two lovers

Photographing your girl is age-old, as is the idea of the gaze in film (how men look at women, how women look at women, how women look at themselves). In Two Lovers, Joaquin Phoenix has two women in his orbit, played by Vinessa Shaw and Gwyneth Paltrow. He's cuckoo bananas over Gwyneth and less inspired by Vinessa, and the intensity of his feelings for them is largely communicated through the way he looks at them -- duhh, he's an amateur photographer!

I read a review of Mysteries of Pittsburgh in which Sienna Miller was called a "charmless beauty." Gwynnie's character in Two Lovers is actually a useful counterpoint to that because there's something so charming about her -- it smoothes over the moments where she seems way too old for the role and others when you're thinking WTF is going on. I've actually never thought of Gwyn as radiant -- more like, as she's described in Sliding Doors, "pretty in a British, horsey sort of way," if slightly augmented by being blonde. But there is something quite luminous to her character here that you do really just want to look at her.

The other thing is that I'm obsessed with GOOP.

Below: Taking photos of Gwyn, naturally

Below: Vinessa says, take a picture of ME!

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